Poker tracking and analysis software could be one of the most helpful tools in your arsenal if you’re serious about playing online poker, but like anything it depends on how it’s used.
Serious online poker players multi-table to increase their profit. There are a lot of players who will play on four or more tables at the same time. However, when playing so many tables at once, it can be difficult to keep track of the action because your attention is divided between tables.
Fortunately, all the popular poker tracking software like Poker Tracker and Holdem Manager have a heads-up display (HUD) that comes included with the software, and this tool shows real-time statistics of other players at the poker table.
Many online poker players using poker tracking software find these statistics indispensable, as not only does it allow you to multi-table much more efficiently, when used correctly they can assist players by being a factor when making those really tough decisions.
How does poker tracking software work and how to make it work for you?
These poker tracking software tools grab the hand histories of the hands you have been playing on online poker sites, that’s assuming you’re downloading the hand histories so they can be imported into the poker tracking database.
PokerTracker/Hold’em Manager can turn this data into lots of useful reports and graphs to make better sense of it all. This will help you to find leaks in your game that you didn’t know were there, as well as see how profitable each hand has been. In addition to this, you can find out which positions at the table have been most and least profitable for you.
It also gives you the ability to track your wins and losses by displaying all of the hands you’ve played at any one particular poker room. This data can be presented in a number of different ways, including cumulative profit and loss results which can be compared to your EV graph (what your were “expected” to win or lose.) There’s also basic reports for stuff like just wanting to know how much you’ve won or lost over the course of a session, week, month or year.
More than anything else, the poker HUD helps you understand the playing tendencies of each opponent, including their pre and post-flop aggression levels. With this information at your disposal, you will be able to make more informed decisions and adjust your play accordingly.
For example, if you’ve identified that an opponent is always c-betting the flop but often shutting down on the turn, this knowledge will present you with great opportunities to float their flop c-bets with the intention of taking the pot away from them on the turn. It might not seem like that much of a big deal, but all of these extra small pots you’re picking up will have a significant impact on your overall win rate per hour.
But as useful as the poker tracking software is whilst you’re playing for making in-game decisions, the real value in using these powerful stats tools is the study that is possible to do away from the poker table. Once you spot the weaknesses in your game, you can plug these leaks rather quickly when you return back to the virtual felt.
Also, something that doesn’t often get mentioned when discussing the usefulness of poker tracking software is the ease of which you can find hands you’ve played to replay the hands in the software, as well as to grab the hand histories to get feedback of hands you’ve played from other winning online poker players on forums and other social networking sites. The feedback you get will improve your game immensely, as it will get you thinking about how you could have played a hand a better way.
As a novice, if all of this sounds a little bit complicated, it really isn’t. Once you've purchased the poker tracking software and installed it, the first thing you should concern yourself with is setting up your online poker HUD to make sure it’s working as intended on every online poker site you play at. When you first set it up and familiarize yourself with the HUD you can get away with just using the default HUD settings. Over time you will probably find that some stats will be more useful than others, and can customize your HUD to give such stats precedence over others.